I am an undergraduate student at Regent University where our motto is: “Christian Leadership to Change the World.” In the past few decades, the emphasis on raising up the next generation of Christian leaders has become a cornerstone of American Christianity. Movements like Alex and Brett Harris’s “The Rebelution,” the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA), Patrick Henry College, Regent University, the Truth Project, Summit Ministries, and a host of other developments are a testament to the many ways in which my generation is being equipped with the skills and ideas necessary to stand up as a Christian leader in the midst of a perverse culture.
While I do believe that this emphasis has resulted in a new generation of intellectually powerful Christian minds and motivated young people with the skills and abilities to shake up our culture in a radical way, John Piper reminds us in this short clip of a few simple things that can tear my generation to shreds–and completely nullify our potential for influence. If there is a contradiction between our devotion for the majesty, supremacy, love, and glory of God and our devotion for the distractions of our worldly culture, then we have to realize that we are at a point for self-examination. Paul exhorts us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
Further, Romans 8:5-6 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Therefore, resolving the disconnect between our personal, every-day lives and our intellectual knowledge of God is not simply a passing concern. It is a matter of life and death. For as James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Do we want to be friends of God’s glory or friends of Lady Gaga’s glitz? Do we want to be lovers of God’s beauty or lovers of Tim Burton’s deviance? Do we want to meditate on the pure and true words of God (Psalm 12:6) or satisfy our emotions with the heretical lies of William Young? Are we fine with overlooking the vile language, disgusting images, and licentious behavior that dominates modern cinema? Or do we desire to witness the glory of God, like the prophet Isaiah and the apostle John? Are we more concerned over who is watching the Watchmen or what God sees when he is watching us? My fellow brothers in Christ, do we want to fall prey to the lusts of our sexual temptations when we can flee to God for refuge? My fellow sisters, do you want to adorn yourself with robes of white linen, washed clean by the blood of the lamb, or do you want to disgrace and objectify your bodies with bikinis, low necklines, high skirts, and revealing shorts?
Please take a few minutes to watch this clip. It has thoroughly convicted me. I can’t be a Christian leader if I am not dwelling on the things of the Spirit and seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness, no matter how much apologetics, philosophy, economics, and political theory that I know. No one can do so.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8